The creative outputs of the French multi-musician Asthâghul never cease to amuse the fans. Since 2017 he has released five consecutive albums and an EP. ‘Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath‘ is the sixth album of his solo band Esoctrilihum that brings us to the esoteric world of occultism. Every single album was built on a symphonic platform and I’d say that his latest effort combines the efficacy of spacey, dungeon synth keyboards with a heavy guitar barrage. The songs provide a luxurious palate of textured synths and bring the symphonic elements to full integration. The beautiful album artwork gives you an insight as to what to expect from the music in which the composer explores the inner depth of his artistic talent.
Opening with ‘Ezkikur‘ Esoctrilihum unfolds the thin lines between symphonic black metal and death metal. The heavy guitar tones and double bass are interwoven with the upbeat tempo. The album fuses many instruments like the violin and the flute which appear on the following song ‘Salhn‘. Asthâghul clearly showcases the beautiful interplay between various instruments while the heavy arsenal of the guitars and the drums add a complementing backing to the sweeping music. The majority of the tracks fit in the mid-tempo pace although the French composer is known for exploiting the dynamics of the crescendo to the max. ‘Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath‘ is simulated by the atmospheric effects: as the songs proceed, they offer a contemplative mood.
Musically, the album isn’t too different from the previous ones, although here Asthâghul emphasizes the use of classical instruments. ‘Tyurh‘, for example, has more tempo variations compared to before with blast beats utilized every now and then along with improvised drum sections. What impressed me the most is the way the instruments add a dimensional width to the music. However, despite the repetition of the guitar riffs and the symphonic arrangements, they quickly fall into monotonous moments without adding anything. ‘Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath‘ is a lengthy album, containing twelve songs that combine into a seventy-seven minute mystical overture. The album is built on lofty musical arrangements that manifest into different tones of atonal symphony.
Tracks such as ‘Agakuh‘ and ‘Eginbaal‘ create a breathtaking spectacle of sprawling atmosphere where the excellent drum filling and the impressive use of the violin ooze obscure melodies. The songs on ‘Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath‘ are atmospheric, but they lack a bit of variation. It seems that Asthâghul approached the material with rather one-dimensional song-writing. One of the major issues of the album is that the songs quickly lose their charm and become monotonous. Giving the instruments an equal amount of intensity ‘Dy’th‘ is played at an upbeat tempo with frenetic double bass drum pacing and blast beats.
The orchestral elements on the album are actually the highlight of the album and I would prefer if Asthâghul released an album based purely on orchestral music. ‘Craânag‘ is beautifully performed with genuine flair. The instrumental track contains many beautiful patterns and haunting melodies that would fit a cinematic masterpiece. The next tracks on the album ‘Zhaïc Daemon‘ and ‘Nominès Haàr‘ offer some obscure symphonic black metal tracks of the highest quality. The screeching vocal work and the raucous drum beats steer toward dark sections. As the songs bloom in atmospheric splendor, Esoctrilihum improvises heavy guitar riffs and melodies.
Another problem with ‘Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath‘ is that there are many songs that feel like fillers. Like its predecessors, Asthâghul mixes his previous works without losing the signature sound. ‘Xuiotg‘ is an extraordinary track building on obscure sounds of the swelling instruments and blast beats. The general theme of the songs is structured to create horror and beauty at the same time even though the songs are bombastically textured. Asthâghul provides another haunting experience that exudes from his dark thoughts and subconsciousness. The closing track ‘Hjh’at‘ is a tenebrous and gloomy piece of atmospheric innovation.
‘Dy’th Requiem for the Serpent Telepath‘ is an inspiring album full of thrills and catchy rhythms. Although eroded by a flawed song structure, this isn’t a bad album but it’s a step back from the previous output. Recommended for fans of The Ruins of Beverast and Morgul.
Release Date: May 21st, 2021
Label: I, Void Hanger Records
- Baahl Duthr
- Zhaïc Daemon
- Nominès Haàr